WASHINGTON - The Fairfield High School boys’ track and field team finished fourth place in Class B at Thursday night’s Steve Roth Washington Relays at Case Field in Washington.
The Trojans secured 77.75 points. Also competing in Class B were Ft. Madison (165.75), Mediapolis (113), West Burlington Notre Dame (103.75), Iowa City Junior Varsity (66.75), Cedar Rapids Prairie Junior Varsity (35) and Washington Junior Varsity (13).
Trojan head coach Brian Dunlap said he was pleased with how his kids performed. He was missing eight to 10 students gone for Spring Break, so that allowed a slew of youngsters to jump from junior varsity to the show. This was especially true for sprinting events, which were filled in by distance runners and throwers.
“For some of the kids, this was their first high school outdoor meet of their career,” Dunlap said. “They came through and did a good job.”
Results (All for Class B)
100 meter dash
Trojan freshman Connor Lyons had a good showing in the 100 meter dash, finishing 13th with a time of 14.32. Kaden Septer, also a freshman, finished in 16th place, stopping the watches at 15.65.
The meet record in the boys’ 100 dash is held by Trojan Wilmont Wellington, who ran a 10.52 in 2008. Cole Boatright, now a teacher in the district, ran a 10.85 in 2000, which is still the fastest time for a class B race.
200 meter dash
Fairfield freshman Nathan Trower ran a 28.29 in the 200, good for 11th place. Teammate Nathan Mathis, a senior, ran the race in 29.49, putting him 17th. Septer finished 19th with a time of 32.04.
400 meter dash
Junior Landon Kooiker ran the 400 in just under a minute, 56.20, giving him the bronze. Mathis came in eighth with a time of 1:02.41. Freshman Zhixiang “Tim” Miao stopped the watches at 1:07.99, making him 10th.
800 meter dash
Senior Mark Diers finished third in the 800 with a time of 2:13.08. Freshman Caden Mickels came in ninth with a 2:30.58, followed by Zhixiang “Tim” Miao in 10th with a 2:37.95.
1600 meter run
Sophomore Alex Forrest was the Trojans’ top finisher in the mile, completing the race in 5:02.80, second only to Ft. Madison’s Matt Hellige, who ran it in 4:48. Fellow sophomore Aiden Daugherty came in seventh with a 5:39.07. Jack-of-all-trades Brittan Bowman finished 10th with a time of 6:12.32.
3200 meter run
Mickels and Daugherty finished 5-6 in the 2 mile, with Mickels posting a time of 11:42.97 and Daugherty a time of 12:07.00. Bowman was seventh with a 13:23.64.
110 meter hurdles
Jackson Nelson, a freshman, finished fourth in the hurdles with a time of 22.56.
400 meter hurdles
In the longer of the two hurdle races, Kooiker placed third with a time of 1:04.30.
4x100 meter relay
Fairfield’s 4x100 meter relay team consisted of a pair of freshmen (Lyons and Nelson) and sophomores (Landen Schafer and Blake Metz). The quartet combined for a time of 53.70, putting them in seventh.
4x200 meter relay
This relay team was nearly as young as the 4x100, with three sophomores (Schafer, Metz and Kevin Kretz) along with freshman Nathan Trower. The team ran a 1:48.00, good for fourth.
In the 4x400, Kretz was joined by seniors Dalton Rippey and Mark Diers, and freshman Tyrone Haynes. They finished fourth with a time of 3:58.08.
The Trojans struck gold with this relay team, beating all competitors with a time of 9:08.37. The runners were Diers, Forrest, Rippey and Kretz.
“Last year, our distance crew really paced us,” Dunlap said, adding that the same was true at Thursday’s meet. “We were running distance kids in the 4x2 and 4x4. Dalton Rippey, Mark Diers and Alex Forrest all had big nights, earning us victories in the relays and scoring points in the open events. A lot of our points came from that crew.”
Dunlap said those athletes did a great job encouraging the younger runners in their races.
“I was really impressed with that group,” he said.
The sprint medley relay is in just its third year as a boys’ event. The first two runners run 100 meters, the third 200 meters and the fourth 400 for a total of 800 meters. Fairfield’s sprint medley team finished seventh with a time of 1:56.71. The team was, in order, Lyons, Schafer, Metz and Haynes.
The distance medley is a race with segments measuring 200, 200, 400 and 800 meters, in that order. The Trojans took the top spot in that one with a time of 4:03.81. The team was, in order, Bowman, Schafer, Rippey and Forrest.
Kooiker blew away the competition in the high jump, clearing 6 feet. The next closest was Sheymouhr Redd-Donald of Ft. Madison with a jump of 5-foot-6. The meet record is held by Ft. Madison’s Marc Meierotta, who jumped 6-foot-7 in 2005. Bowman also competed in the high jump, finishing with 5-foot-2.
Despite winning the high jump, Dunlap commented that Kooiker could have jumped even higher if his event were not interrupted by the open 400. Kooiker posted his 6-foot jump, then had to run the 400 meter dash. After finishing the race, he tried to jump 6-foot-2, but fell short.
“He jumped 6-foot-4 at an indoor meet, and he was a state qualifier in that event last year, so we’re expecting big things out of Landon,” Dunlap said. “It’s always tough to come back after running a long race [and do the high jump], especially early in the season. The 400 takes a lot out of a kid’s legs.”
Lyons captured seventh place with his 15-foot-2 leap in the long jump. The winner, Michael Mosena of Ft. Madison, leapt 18-feet-7.
Haynes had the farthest throw for the Trojans in the shot put, hurling the heavy ball 36-feet-4.25, good for ninth place. Junior Gage Hook earned an 11th place finish with his toss of 34-feet-5. Trower’s throw measured 31-feet-7.5, putting him in 13th. The winner was Mediapolis’s Kye Borrison, who posted a throw of 44-feet-3.5.
“Tyrone Haynes has been a nice addition to our throwing crew,” Dunlap said. “We even used him on the track, anchoring our sprint medley team. When you’re shorthanded, you have to ask kids to do a lot of stuff, and he handled it just fine.”
Dunlap said he was also pleased with the versatility of Nathan Trower, who not only threw the shot put but also ran the 200 meter dash and anchored the 4x200 meter relay team.
A trio of Trojans finished 8-9-10 in the discus, led by Hook with a throw of 92-feet-5. Sophomore Chris Kyle hurled the saucer 91-feet-1, while Haynes threw it 86-feet-6. Fairfield’s Isaac Holtz maintains the meet record for Class B in this event. He threw the discus 161-feet-6 in 2014.
Tristin Waugh, a state qualifier in the discus, was absent from Thursday’s meet.
“Caden Jones, one of my top sprinters, was also gone,” Dunlap remarked. “I’m looking forward to getting all those guys back next week.”
FHS students return to class Tuesday. The girls’ track team has a meet that day at West Burlington. The boys’ next meet is Thursday in Mt. Pleasant, where they will be joined by the girls.